Management Information Systems Quarterly


The space of design alternatives for a business process is typically very large, with technology, location, and other factors combining to generate seemingly endless possibilities. This paper introduces a set of artifacts that support process designers in their efforts to manage this critical business problem: (1) a grammar-based method to generate and manage business process design alternatives and (2) a software prototype that provides support for the use of this method. The method and prototype software are demonstrated with a grammar for a sales process. The method improves on existing approaches by offering the generative power of grammar-based methods while addressing the principal challenge to using such approaches in the design of business processes: the limitations on automated evaluation of alternatives and thus the need to provide designers with tools to manage the potentially overwhelming array of choices generated by design grammars.